“The Caller” is a sobriquet that has been bestowed on a friend of mine, by another wine blogger. He received this nickname for the times that I have written about his sending me questions about a wine to select at a restaurant, when he is not sure. I do not think twice about doing it, as I consider him a good friend. In fact my Bride and I have joined “The Caller” and his charming wife many times for dinners, wine tastings and the like. There was a night when my Bride was away on business in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the three of us went out to a wonderful dinner where all of the courses centered on the famed mushroom of Michigan, the Morel. Not only did we have a wonderful meal, but we had a continuous stream of messages to my Bride about every course, and informed her of the meal the entire evening. Once we even had dinner in San Jose, California; because we had talked about how much we enjoyed the restaurants and wines of the Monterey County, and Carmel-by-the-Sea in general they decided to go there on a vacation. Alas, they were arriving in San Jose the evening, which we stayed in San Jose, because we were on a returning flight the next morning.
Two days in a row this week, I received texts and photographs on my phone from “The Caller.” He and his wife were having a mini-vacation on the West side of the state of Michigan and he claimed that under my “tutelage” he is now comfortable making some selections on his own. They were spending a couple of nights in Grand Rapids, before going off in another direction and he was sending me notes about the wines he was enjoying.
The first evening they were having dinner at Cygnus 27 which is one of the fine dining restaurants in the Amway Grand Hotel. The hotel is a wonderful hotel, and my Bride and I request having a room on the old wing of the hotel, which has the original charm, as we feel that the new wing feels more like a hotel room anywhere in America. Cygnus 27 is a new restaurant, at the hotel since we last stayed there, as I know that we have never dined there. “The Caller” sent me a photograph of a Muga Rioja Reserva 2007. This is a type of wine that I have always called a “go-to” wine, as I find that Rioja wines are dependable, and a Reserva is even a better bet. This particular wine that he enjoyed is a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano varietals. I would venture to say that since he was just enjoying a couple of glasses of Tempranillo the other night, he may have asked the Wine Steward about that particular varietal.
The next evening he and his wife went to a restaurant Six.One.Six at the J.W. Marriot Hotel also in Grand Rapids and they were having a Sushi dinner. I would be very poor company that evening, as I am not a fan of this type of food, though my Bride is. She tends to have Sushi with some of her family or friends, rather than trying to have dinner with me. I have to admit that I would never be a true gourmet or a great food critic, because I am not a very adventurous person when it comes to food, though my Bride has expanded my knowledge and my waistband since we have met. I have yet to cross this bridge and I do not see a reason for me to do it. Any ways, that is off tangent to the discussion. That particular evening he selected a Gerard Bertrand Special Reserve Viognier 2011, which makes sense to me in a text book situation. A Viognier is a very light white wine that has an almost perfumed nose to it, that I find very attractive, and I really enjoy this wine on a Summer day. This particular wine is a “Vin de Pays d’OC” which to me is a fancy way to say a “table wine,” my knowledge of the French language is not very strong, but I can muddle my way to a degree. This wine is also from a very large tract of land in the South of France, Languedoc-Roussillon which produces massive amounts of good to great table wine. All in all, I do like the wines that he shared in a cyber-sense with me, and I do hope that he continues selecting good wines to enjoy, because that is what wine drinking is all about.